A same-sex couple who claim they were kicked out of a skating rink for "pecking" have gone to ground two days after the business they accused closed its doors after copping a barrage of threats.
Staff from Oak Flats Roller Skating Rink and the couple, Amy Hudson and Maddie Dellosa, have been victims of vicious bullying — both online and over the phone — since the incident last Friday, according to news.com.au.
Oak Flats Skating Rink, in the NSW city of Wollongong, plastered its front doors with signs earlier this week that read "Closed due to safety concerns".
The business has deleted its Facebook page and the description on its website and Google review page reads: "Sorry for any inconvenience. The rink is now closed permanently due to the concerns for the safety of our staff."
The furore kicked off late last week when Maddie and Amy, both 20, posted scathing one-star reviews on the rink's Facebook page, claiming the manager had kicked them out for kissing.
The couple, from the south Wollongong suburb of Kiama, told the Illawarra Mercury they were asked to leave, despite their physical contact not being anything more than a "few pecks" and touching that "didn't go anywhere other than each other's hand or face or back".
Just before 9pm, the manager of the Oak Flats rink allegedly approached them and said he'd had a complaint from a parent that their display of affection "wasn't appropriate in front of children", Miss Dellosa said.
"I was going to the toilet and [Amy] was going to the car. We pecked on the lips and I turned around and saw the manager coming towards me. He said, 'ladies, I'm going to have to ask you to stop that'," Miss Dellosa told the Mercury.
"I felt my blood boil ... He said, 'I don't care if boys kiss boys or whatever, it's just not tolerated here, it's a family venue'," she added.
The girls were furious at being asked to leave and in retaliation to the manager's comments, Miss Hudson grabbed her girlfriend's face and kissed her on the lips.
The three then had a verbal altercation in the venue where the girls admitted they swore at the manager.
"I said 'f**k you' to three times to him, with tears streaming down my face, shaking in embarrassment and anger. The sense of inequality really hit me," Miss Dellosa said.
News.com.au's calls to the Oak Flats rink were unreturned but the Illawarra Mercury reported a number of people have made threatening calls to the venue.
Messages like "You'll get yours, it's coming" left on the rink's answering service left the owners worried for their staff.
But it isn't just the rink that has been threatened and bullied.
Miss Dellosa declined a conversation with news.com.au today.
The girls are also having their Facebook photos reported.
Posting a topless photo to Facebook yesterday, Miss Hudson captioned it: "A censored version for all the bored stay at home mums that have the week off car pooling and have nothing better to do than stalk my social media reporting my photos thinking that that and their irrelevant comments on news articles are making the world a better place."
Since the Oak Flats rink deleted its Facebook page, dozens of people have instead taken to Google, detailing conflicting stories of what they thought actually happened.
One woman named Lucy said she was there the night the incident happened and said the manager "did not seem like the type to start an unnecessary drama", claiming the couple were "doing much more than a quick peck".
Another woman named Sara, who is in a lesbian relationship, also gave the venue five stars and said she'd "never witnessed anything but friendliness" there.
The five-star rating of the rink has now risen to 4.2 after a number of people took to Google to praise the business and its staff.
"Has always been a fun date night destination. One incident shouldn't be enough to ruin a business. I will continue to come here and encourage others to do the same," one person commented.
Regardless of the debate and the threats now levelled at the couple, Miss Dellosa said no one should be threatening the venue.
"I don't think that's right. I'm really angry at whoever did that. It's not how I wanted the situation handled. I never suggested anyone do that, I simply opened up and told people of my experience," she told the Mercury.